Multichannel Merchant’s Most-popular Articles: September 2010

Sometime between Labor Day and the Autumnal Equinox, you may have missed some of Multichannel Merchant’s content. Let’s get you caught up on some of our most-popular articles for September:

FedEx to Combine Freight and LTL Divisions:
FedEx’s first-quarter earnings statement revealed its plans to combine its FedEx Freight and FedEx National LTL operations under the FedEx Freight banner, effective Jan. 30. The shipping giant will lay off about 1,700 full-time employees and close about 100 facilities as it tries to cut operational costs.

Summer Cargo Crisis Eases Up:
It was widely reported this summer that retailers were paying at least twice as much as last year in cargo freight costs, thanks to rising demand for imports combined with shrinking space on cargo ships. The situation had some merchants fearing they wouldn’t be able to get their fall goods in time. But conditions have improved since then.

Debt Forces Oriental Trading Into Chapter 11:
Under the plan, Oriental Trading will reduce its funded debt by more than 70% to $200 million, said Oriental Trading CEO Sam Taylor in a statement. For the fiscal year ended April 3, OTC Holdings had assets totaling $463.3 million, liabilities of $756.6 million and did net sales of $485.4 million.

BrylaneHome Launches Plus Size Living Print Catalog:
The Plus Size Living Collection originally launched online in early 2009. The line, which includes indoor and outdoor furniture with extra-wide seating, along with oversize bed, bath, kitchen, and healthy living items, was inspired by the merchant’s plus-size customers’ requests for everyday products that make life easier and more comfortable.

J.C. Penney Quitting Catalogs:
Spokesperson Darcie Brossart says J.C. Penney will instead distribute “look books.” These resemble catalogs but carry less merchandise, have no catalog item numbers and refer customers to Penney’s website for information about styles, sizes and colors.

Urban Outfitters CEO on Business, Brands and Blogs:
In his Sept. 28 keynote address at the Shop.org conference in Dallas, CEO Glen Senk said that when the company launched direct businesses for its Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters brands, the groups were kept separate from retail. And as a result, each group viewed the other as a competitor.

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